Evanston man recovers from COVID-19 after plasma treatment

Evanston man recovers from COVID-19 after convalescent plasma treatment

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A clinical trial is underway at The Christ Hospital to help those suffering from COVID-19, and it may have saved an Evanston man’s life.

Ted Richardson is one of the first patients to have gone through the trial. Right now he’s home and on the road to recovery, but just a few weeks ago his situation appeared dire.

Richardson believes he caught the virus while helping care for his sister, Ethel, at home. Eventually her fever became his, and soon he tested positive for COVID-19.

“Honestly, my first thought was my kids,” Richardson told FOX19 NOW. “Because back in 2011, they lost their mother, so I am the last parent.”

Unfortunately Ethel would pass away on Mother’s Day.

Richardson’s own condition worsened as well. He was admitted to the hospital, where he confesses he felt alone — and scared.

“There was not one second I was not praying. I prayed to God the whole time. Finally I asked at least for the time to tell them I love them," he said speaking of his children.

Then doctors told Richardson about the clinical trial for an experimental plasma treatment.

“The doctor said it is a test drug,” Richardson remembered. “I was probably one of the first ones from Christ Hospital to have this test drug.”

The clinical trial resulted last month from a partnership between The Christ Hospital and the University of Cincinnati’s Hoxworth Blood Center. It involves injecting patients with plasma donated from those have recovered from the virus.

So far more than 250 recovered patients have donated more than 200 units of plasma to the trial. A Hoxworth spokesperson says 70 of those units have been transported to hospitals for transfusion into COVID-19 patients.

On Richardson, it seems to have had a positive effect.

“I feel great,” he said Thursday. “I am ready to go back to work.”

Richardson feels strongly if he had not received the plasma, his recovery would be different.

“I would do it again,” he said. “I would urge everyone to do it. I mean, I am here talking to you today.”

Speaking to those who shrug off the virus, Richardson says he hopes they take it seriously.

“It does not care what your age is, what your race is, what you believe in,” he said. "It does not care if you believe in God or don’t. This thing is for everybody.”

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